People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
Having really enjoyed Year of Wonders by the same author, I was eager to read this new novel of hers. Inspired by a true story, People of the Book, is, not surprisingly, about a book. The Sarajevo Haggadah is a beautiful Jewish book, which should not really be in existence. However, by a series of miracles, it has survived wars, and hundreds of years. It is Hanna Heath’s job to analyse and conserve the book, trying to find out something about its history. In her doing this, we the reader are taken on the journey of the book, from it’s creation, right through to how it ended up in Hanna’s hands.
This truly is a fascinating tale, effortlessly interwoven with both the real and fictional past, so much so that the Haggadah itself becomes a character, and People of the Book is the tale it tells us.
A real eye-opener to wars and historical tragedies that are not so often documented, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. It’s not an easy read, as there are so many eras and characters involved, but if you pace yourself you will find yourself quickly becoming immersed in the tale. Excellent.